Geriatrics, a centenarian medical specialty <b>[Abstract in English]</b>
AbstractAims: To commemorate the centennial of the geriatrics, the authors present a review of the population aging, the elderly individual, the characteristics of the geriatric medicine, and its history. Source of data: A throughout review of the literature found on MedLine and LILACS, as well as textbooks, dissertations, thesis, and government directives was performed. Summary of the findings: Geriatrics is the area of medicine that cares for the health and treatment of diseases in old age, which works with physical, mental, functional and social aspects in the acute, chronic, rehabilitative, preventive and palliative care of the elderly. Geriatrics goes beyond “medicine centered on organs and systems”, offering holistic treatment by interdisciplinary teams with the principal objective of optimizing functional capacity and improvement of quality of life and autonomy of the elderly, which make up the core of this medical specialty. Geriatrics, in daily assistance practice, works with particular questions such as: the heterogeneity of patients and of scenarios of care; concomitance of multiple diseases/disorders (plurimorbidity), including geriatric syndromes (“the giants of geriatrics”); difficulty of identifying all the problems (iceberg phenomenon); polypharmacy; fragility; vulnerability; the various losses that the elderly show; and terminality. Conclusions: Geriatrics refers to the medical specialty responsible for the clinical aspects of aging and for the various forms of health care necessary for the elderly. Because of the complexity allied to the aging process, geriatrics has become an intriguing, challenging and contemporaneous specialty.
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